The predominant characteristic of the gaseous state is empty space. While a single atom is a complex affair, in a gas, space is so sparsely-populated by molecules of one or two or a few atoms each that we can achieve a simple picture in which the details of the atoms are omitted, in which the atoms become mass-points, with no more by way of individual characteristics than so many black dots. When there is less open space, when the molecules spend a considerable portion of their time close enough to feel each other’s attractive forces, then our simple picture must be amended.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.